Sew Long Summer T-shirt edition


Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity1062 hackHey Sewists!  I volunteered for double duty for the Sew Long Summer tour, so I am back with another new garment.  Today, I am sharing my pattern hack version of Simplicity 1062. This is my second version of this pattern hacked top I have made this year.  I posted about my previous version and the non-hacked version here.  I never did write my how to hack post though.  Maybe next month.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity1062 hack


Back to this version now!  I made a few pattern tweaks from the last version and it made all the difference.  I love love love this top! The inspiration came from a top I purchased at Torrid a while back.  I has a woven front panel with a knit back  panel and neckline/armhole trim.  Not a typical combination, but it works for this top.  The front used .75 yards of Grayscale Tree Silhouettes Peach Skin Fabric from Girl Charlee purchased back in 2014 for $2.73.  The black is 1 yard of Ponte De Roma from Jo-Ann’s purchased in 2015 for $7.79 a yard. Total fabric cost: $10.52, which is less than half of what I paid for the inspiration piece.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity1062 hackThis is a great quick and easy make.  My typical fall wardrobe consists of skinny jeans, boots, and a cute top.  This top will fit into that wardrobe perfectly!  It was also a great way to use up some smaller pieces from my stash!  I am going to have to make more versions of this top. I want to make one with a bright colored Ponte De Roma instead of the black.  I promise I will write a how to hack post at some point while making other versions.


I have really enjoyed participating in the Sew Long Summer Tour again this year.  Check out the other tour stops while you are at it.
Sewing by Ti, Musings of a Seamstress, Tales of a Tester, Almost a hippy, At Margareta’s Haus, Sewing A La Carte, Birds Of A Kettle




Sew Long Summer: Shirt-dress Showdown


Hey Sewists!  Sorry I have been gone so long.  I did not intend to take a nearly two month hiatus from blogging.  But, boy oh boy, have I been busy.  I have been enjoying my summer and am a little sad to see it leave. I have so many projects to share with you though.  Right now I am in the midst of costume sewing for our annual trek to the Ohio Renaissance Festival. Until then, I am excited to be a stop in the Sew Long Summer tour the Melissa is hosting.  Today I am excited to share my new shirt-dress obsession with you!  I fully intended to blog about these dresses way back in July, but summer happened.  Even still, I think shirt-dresses are the perfect seasonal transition garment for me.   This is my side by side comparison of two similar patterns, McCall’s 6891 view B and Simplicity 8014 view B.  Each finished garment was compared in four different categories: fabric used and pattern description, construction, alterations and fit, and wearability.

Fabrics and Pattern:

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 8014

Simplicity 8014

First up, Simplicity 8014!  This pattern comes with several different collar, sleeve, length and skirt variations.  I chose to make view B with the flared skirt with mandarin collar.  For this version I used 2.5 yards of dark indigo chambray from my stash.  This fabric was purchased from Jo-Ann’s last year during their Black Friday sale for $11.25.  I also used 13 – 5/8″ copper shank buttons, also purchased from Jo-Ann’s this year.  Unfortunately, I didn’t keep track of how much I paid for the buttons.  I bought them when one of the local stores was closing, so I know I got them for at least 50% off.  I really liked the idea of a mandarin collar and thought it would be a great way to give this dress a different look than it’s competitor (M6891).  This pattern features pleats at the waist of the front and back, with bust darts and a back yoke.  I absolutely love the back yoke!  That makes it feel more shirt like for me.

Musings of a Seamstress - McCall's 6891

McCall’s 6891

Now the challenger, McCall’s 6891 view B.  This pattern features a notched collar with various skirt lengths and sleeve types.  The bodice features darts for at both the front and back waist as well as the bust.  For this version I used 3.25 yards of navy cotton eyelet and 4 yards of white Kona cotton solid, both  purchased from Jo-Ann’s this year. Total cost for both fabrics was $37.71.  I also used 12 – 7/8″ navy buttons.


Musings of a Seamstress - McCall's 6891

For my McCall’s version I underlined every piece, except the sleeves, since I chose an eyelet.  That doubled the fabric needed and time spent sewing.  Underlining was well worth the extra effort.  I love the effect of the contrasting white underlining peaking through the navy eyelet.  Once underlined, the pattern went together pretty quickly. I finished this dress in a weekend. I used 1/2″ horsehair braid in the hem to give it more volume and structure in its drape.  The double thickness of the fabric and the horsehair make the skirt look great!

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 8014

For the Simplicity chambray version it also went together very quickly.  I finished this one within a couple of days as well.  I used the 1/2″ horsehair braid in the hem for the same reasons as the other version. While you cannot tell from the pictures, it did not sew as easily as it did in the eyelet.  With the chambray it has some roping in a few spots because of the curve.  Interesting fact, the button holes on the Simplicity version are meant to be sewn vertically, while the McCall’s version are horizontal.

Alterations and Fit:

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 8014

For the Simplicity version, the most significant alteration I made was to the sleeve length. This pattern only came with a long sleeve that rolls up to 3/4 length.  I knew if I was putting in the sleeve tabs I would never wear this with the sleeves unrolled, so I chose to make a shorter length more similar to the McCall’s version.  I love what the back yoke does to draw visual interest to the back of the dress, creating a more tailored fit.  I do not think the waist pleats add anything to fit though.  From the back I think the pleats are the cause of the bagginess.  I think that if they were darts it would look much better.

Musings of a Seamstress - McCall's 6891

For the McCall’s version the only alteration I made was to the size and quantity of buttons.  This was because I could not find any 5/8″ buttons, which is what the pattern calls for, that I thought looked good with this fabric.  So, the 7/8″ buttons won out.  I added 2 extra buttons, changing the spacing between each one from what the pattern guide is.   The fit of this one is spot on though!  I love the shaping the darts give.  I do not like where the button placement stops in the front for this version.  I think another two buttons could be added to make me feel more secure that it won’t fly open.  I also do not like the length of this skirt.  It is about 2″ shorter than the Simplicity version, making it just above my comfort zone.


Musings of a Seamstress - McCall's 6891

I really enjoyed wearing the McCall’s dress.  The double layers of cotton do make it heavier and warmer to wear.  It will be great for fall for that reason, but right now it is still a bit to warm here for me to want to wear it all summer.  I am definitely going to have to add two more buttons to the skirt.  I was a bit nervous while wearing this all day of it flying open below that last button.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 8014

The Simplicity was much more comfortable to wear all day since the buttons and hem length were just right.  I can say that I am not as big of fan of this mandarin collar as I had hoped to be.  The pattern calls for button all the way up with one finishing on the collar.  It was a bit too uncomfortable for me to wear all the way closed.  I wasn’t a big fan of leaving it unbuttoned though because I think that the neckline naturally drapes a little weird when unbuttoned.  Other than that I loved wearing the chambray all day.  It is the perfect lightweight fabric to wear on warmer summer days  that will pair well with sweaters or tights for cooler fall days.


Musings of a Seamstress - McCall's 6891

McCall’s 6891

When it comes down to the pattern itself, it was an easy choice to pick a winner.  The initial fit of this version is so much better than the Simplicity version.  There would be no alterations need for the fit of the bodice.  The only alterations I would have to make are to the length of the skirt and amount of buttons in front.  Those things are minor in comparison to changing the pleats of the Simplicity version.  Then there is the collar!  That mandarin collar on the Simplicity dress is just not as flattering as the notched collar of the McCall’s dress.

Have you stitched up your own version of either of these patterns?  What did you think of it?

Check out some of the other stops today on the Sew Long Summer tour and sew along with us.

mahlicadesigns, Musings of a Seamstress, Rainy Day Sewing, Sprouting Jube Jube, Sewing A La Carte, Anne-Mari Sews
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TNT Stashbusting

Musings of a Seamstress - M6073

Hey Stashbusters!  How are you doing on your dress sewing this month? I meant to post about this dress two weeks ago, but Eric and I were celebrating our anniversary by going to Canada!  It was a blast! I may have bought one piece of fabric as a souvenir.  We’ll pretend like I didn’t do that for now though.

This week I am back with another version of my TNT knit dress, McCall’s 6073.  I have made this dress so many times I can’t even tell you what version number this one is.  I think maybe I should give this pattern a rest for a bit.  For this version, I used my redrafted bodice pieces to create a scoop neckline instead of the cross over V-neck.  I also did a quick and easy rolled hem.  That is my new preferred hem finish for knit dresses.  It is easier and looks better than a turned and stitched hem, in my opinion.

Musings of a Seamstress - M6073

For my fabrics I picked up two yards of this awesome Aztec coral and purple cotton jersey blend from Girl Charlee way back in February.  I had intended to use it for this dress and picked up a royal purple cotton spandex to go with it.  On the Girl Charlee site they looked like they would match perfectly together.  Unfortunately,  in person that was not the case.  The purple in the print was just too dark to match the royal purple solid.  Now, I have one yard of royal purple cotton spandex in my stash.  Bah!

Musings of a Seamstress - M6073

Luckily, I still had a little bit of navy ponte de roma from a few years ago when I did the Adoption Dress Project.  The navy looked great with the coral print, so it won!  In the end I used, 1.5 yards of purple/coral Aztec print for $9.38, and .75 yards of navy ponte de roma for $5.84.  The total fabric cost for this dress is $15.22.  I don’t think that is too bad for just the materials cost.  If you were to factor in an hourly rate of minimum wage for two hours, this is about what you would pay for a knit dress at Target.  I will take that!

Oh oh and before I go, I have to tell you some exciting news!  If you follow me on Facebook you probably already saw this last month, so I am sorry for being repetitive. But……I am one of the new bloggers for Cali & Co Fabrics! I am pretty excited about this opportunity!  Awhile back they posted a call out for bloggers on their blog and I applied.  I was surprised that I actually got picked.  The list of other bloggers is full of quite a few well known sewing bloggers.  I finished my first garment this past weekend and it should go live on their blog sometime soon.  Make sure to follow their blog to see all the awesome things my co-bloggers are making!

Battle of the Cotton Knits

Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit VS Cotton Spandex Knit

Hey Stashbusters!  Today we are talking about knit fabrics!  Inspired by Melissa at Mahlica Designs and her fantastic Versus series, I thought I would write up my own version of this.  I wanted to compare how the exact same pattern would sew up in two different knits.  Cotton Spandex Knit and Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit to be exact.

Let’s start with a little background on the pattern first.  The pattern I picked is M6559 in view D.  This is a pretty basic pattern as it only has two pieces.  It is a quick make, which is good for me.  These are the 3rd and 4th versions I have made using this pattern. Surprisingly, this is the first time I am really blogging about this pattern.  I kind of reviewed it here but not very much. For both versions I made a size 22 with no fitting alterations.  For both versions I did add a contrasting trim to the neckline and armholes and a simple rolled hem finish.  I love the contrasting trim I added as a different way to finish my openings.  I haven’t posted it yet, but I do have a pattern hack tutorial written for a different pattern that includes how to add this trim, so I am not going to post it here.  I really do love this pattern for its simplicity.  It makes a great summer dress for me that I am going to make over and over again.

Let’s get down to the main event though.  I compared each fabric in the following areas: sewing experience, all day wearability, first laundry cycle.


Musings of a Seamstress - M6559

Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit


First up is a Kumquat Teal Navajo Modal Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit Fabric from Girl Charlee.  I used 1.75 yards of this fabric that I purchased back in 2014 during their Black Friday sale.  The total cost of this one is $4.38.  I also used scraps of an Orange Rayon Spandex.  It wasn’t enough to count for anything though.  This is a very soft drapey knit, that clings in all the right places. It is typically used for sleep wear, making this kinda like secret pajamas.

Musings of a Seamstress - M6559

Cotton Spandex Knit


The second fabric is Pink and Black Ethnic Cotton Spandex Knit.  This one also came from Girl Charlee and was in the August 2015 Knitfix I purchased last year. I used 2 yards which was a cost of $11.50.  For the contrast I used some scraps of Black Ponte De Roma that I had laying around. For this version I added 3″ to the bottom hem since I did not pre-wash the fabric because I wanted to do a laundry test.  This fabric is a little thicker than the other, but it feels more like a comfy t-shirt.


Musings of a Seamstress - M6559  The Rayon Spandex print can go either direction, so I had no problems being able to match up the print at the side seams.  It is darn near perfect! Rayon Spandex does present it’s own set of sewing challenges though.  This fabric has a lot of stretch to it, so it was very important that I not stretch the fabric as I was sewing. Having a pattern to match at the side seams helped immensely with that. For all knits I make sure I use bulky nylon as my bobbin thread on my straight stitch machine and looper threads on serger.  I also make sure I use a jersey needle.


The cotton spandex, Musings of a Seamstress - M6559unfortunately, is a one way print.  With only having two yards the front and back panels go different directions, so there was no way I was able to match prints at the side seam.  This one has a good amount of stretch to it, but not as much as the rayon spandex,  making it a bit easier to sew with.  It would be a great knit to sew if you are new to knits.  The only downside to sewing this fabric was hemming.  The cotton spandex tends to curl up and my rolled hem is not visible now and I have a narrow band of the underside of the fabric showing.


Musings of a Seamstress - M6559Musings of a Seamstress - M6559I love wearing this rayon spandex dress.  I said earlier that it is like secret pajamas, making it a super comfortable fabric to wear.  The stretch and drape in this fabric makes it flattering in that it shows off my curves!  The fabric does tend to stretch out during the course of the day, but after letting it sit over night it recovered pretty darn well.






Since the cotton spandex doesn’t have the drape as the rayon spandex, it does show off my curves as well.  It is a little baggier looking in the waist creating more of a column look from the chest down. On the plus side, this one does stretch out a bit while wearing, but does not recover as well as the rayon spandex did. Since I didn’t wash it before wearing, the extra inches I added were slightly problematic.  Good thing that isn’t going to be permanent.






Musings of a Seamstress - M6559Part of the reason I wanted to wait to wash them until after wearing them was I knew how the rayon spandex would turn out and it performed as expected.  This is the biggest let down of rayon spandex for me.  In the picture the fabric on the left is unwashed and the one on the right is the finished garment.  You can see that the finished garment has white fuzzies all over it, causing it to have a faded look.  This is because of the rayon fibers.  I hate that this dress now looks super worn after only one wash.  Musings of a Seamstress - M6559The cotton spandex, by contrast, washed up wonderfully!  If you can see the dividing line down the center, the one on the left is the unwashed fabric and the one on the right is the washed garment.  They are identical in look!  No fading at all!  The fabric did become a bit softer though, which is a plus.  It did shrink up a bit in the hem, but not as much as I added to the hem, so I will re-hem this one.


So, which fabric does it come down to as being the winner…

Musings of a Seamstress - M6559

The cotton spandex knit!  I think the washability of the fabric was the deal breaker for the cotton rayon spandex knit.  I want my garments to be of great quality and how they wash and wear is a huge part of that.  The downsides of this cotton spandex can be looked passed because this fabric still looks great after washing and I expect it will hold up for quite a some time.  I do have another cotton rayon spandex knit that is mostly white and navy that I am curious to sew up and see if it washes the same as this mostly black version.

Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit VS Cotton Spandex Knit

Have you sewn up either of these fabrics before?  What are your thoughts on them?

July Stashbusting Sewalong

Hey Stashbusters, welcome to July!  This months stashbusting theme is all about dresses.  This is my second year hosting this theme and I do not even know if I can begin to tell you all how much I love dresses in the summer time!  This may sound crazy to you, but we do not have central air or air conditioning so lightweight airy dresses are a must for me in the summer months.  The warmer the temps are here in the Midwest the more I rely on dresses to help me stay comfortable and cool.  I sort of kicked off this theme on Friday with my Independence Day outfit, but today I am for real kicking it off.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1808

To start I am sharing my version of Simplicity 1808, which is most definitely out of print now.  There are several other reviews of this pattern on Pattern Review already and between those and the fact that it is OOP, I don’t really see the need to add my review to the site.  I will keep my review here short too.  I made this dress way back in February, just in preparation for this month.  It was a quick and easy instant gratification make, that fills a void in my wardrobe for solid basic dresses.  For those reasons I would definitely make more and recommend this pattern to others.  I will probably make at least one more this summer.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1808

Of course I shopped my stash for this dress.  I used 2.25 yards of coral jersey knit that I picked up last year at Zinick’s Fabric Outlet.  Total fabric cost for this project was $3.38!  I know I have said it before but it is still true, Zinick’s is great for discounted fabrics.  Even after wearing and washing, this dress and fabric have held up very well.  I still have quite a good deal of this fabric left too.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1808

I have so many dresses to share that I have made earlier this year to prep for this month, as well as several dresses I am currently finishing up.  I am writing my versus posts already.  The first will be a fabric versus, using M6559.  I made the same dress up in two different fabrics and will be comparing how each fabric does.  I also have a shirt dress versus post comparing M6891 to S8014.  I want to do one more versus post but I haven’t decided on what it should be yet.  I also have quite a few pattern reviews to share too.

This month is going to be jam packed with all the dresses and posts I have planned. I guess that means I better get back to my sewing machine.  I hope you will stitch up a dress and share it with the rest of us Stashbusters this month!

Sew Americana Tour: Patriotic Shirt Dress

Sew Americana Tour - Musings of a Seamstress

Hey Sewcialists!  I am pleased to be back this week as a part of the Sew Americana Tour hosted by Katy of Wild and Wonderful.  We are celebrating the 4th of July this week. Oh my gosh, it is July!  I can hardly believe that the year is half over already!  It seems like yesterday I was planning out my Jungle January makes and now here I am sharing my 4th of July outfit.  Time needs to slow down a bit for me to catch my breath.

Musings of a Seamstress - M6472

Anyways I have a fantastic new make that I have been dying to share. I made my very first shirt dress using McCall’s 6742, an OOP but definitely a must make if you have it.  Yeah, I said my very first shirt dress.  I don’t know why it has taken me so long to get on this train, but now that I am on it I am not getting off anytime soon.  Shirt dresses are super flattering and easy to wear and this pattern is fantastic!  It was super easy to put together.  I love the high low hem. It is what originally drew me to the pattern.  The longer one part sleeve and sleeve band are a surprising favorite part of the design for me.  I definitely want to make another version of this dress and I want to make a peplum top version.

Musings of a Seamstress - M6472

Lets talk about the major stashbusting points I  achieved with this!  I used 3.25 yards of white eyelet that has a slight silver shimmer to it.  About 3 yards is pretty standard usage for a dress for me.  The major part is that this piece has been in my stash for over 10 years!  A whole freaking decade it has been sitting there unused.  Geez, why did it take me so long to find the right pattern for the fabric? I don’t really know the answer to that but I am glad I did find the right pattern.  With this piece being that old I have no idea how much I paid for it, since it was before I started keeping track of that.  I know that it definitely would have come from Jo-Ann’s though.

Musings of a Seamstress - M6472

I also made the short little slip that goes under the dress and used 1 yard of newly purchased white peachskin fabric from Jo-Ann’s as well. Total cost for that one yard was $4.99. The pattern calls for placing it on the bias, but I chose to place each front and back on the fold.  Bias garments have never really been great for me.  They make me feel very self conscience since they tend to be a bit more clingy.  I also used 3 yards of white fold over elastic to trim out the neckline and create the straps.  I like this look much better because it gives a little more of a professional finish.  Too bad no one will ever see any of this as the fabric is super sheer and I will not wear it by itself.  You can see the outline of it in the back shot above and that is all I am going to show of it.

Musings of a Seamstress - M6472

My style is not one that I am going to wear red, white, and blue stars and stripes all in one outfit to celebrate the 4th of July.  I like my patriotism to be a little more understated and versatile enough that I can change up the look to wear all summer long.  As a result the I chose to accentuate my all white dress with red and blue accessories.  You cannot really see it well in any of the pictures here but I am wearing a beaded bright red multistrand necklace and of course my favorite red peep toe heels.  I also added my red, white. and blue striped wallet to carry around all my essentials instead of a full purse.  It keeps the patriotic theme of the outfit while making it easy to keep track of at holiday parties.

Take a look at the AMAZING lineup for the Sew Americana tour and leave a comment with what your 4th of July outfit plans are!

Monday, June 27 
Wild & Wanderful | Sew and Tell Project | Call Ajaire
Paisley Roots | Wally and Grace

Tuesday, June 28
Sew Thrifty | Coles Corner and Creations | Rebel & Malice

Friends Stitched Together | The Wholesome Mama

Wednesday, June 29
Sewing by Ti | EYMM | HattieLu Handmade
Daydream Believers | PenSebRox | Handmade Boy

Thursday, June 30
Beatnik Kids | Phat Quarters | Sew Starly | Sew Sophie Lynn
The Kisses Co. | Adventures with Bubba and Bug

Friday, July 1
Very Blissful | That’s Sew Kari | Sew Happily Ever After | Pear Berry Lane

Mae and K
 | Musings of a Seamstress | Sew and Tell Project

As a special bonus for our readers, use the code ‘ SEWAMERICANA ‘ and enjoy a 20% discount at  You’ll find a ton of maker-inspired goodies!
(All created by your tour guide, Katy, from Wild & Wanderful.)


Sew 20: Real Life Sewing

PRACTICEHey Sewists! I am back today with a fun post.  Roxanne of PenSeb&Rox just launched a new site and new series called Sew 20.  The aim of this new endeavor is to be a strong sewing resource for all of us sewists out there. There will be monthly community tours, sewing articles, weekly pattern release round-ups, and so much more! I am so excited to be able to team up with Roxanne for this months community tour: Real Life Sewing.  For this theme Roxanne asked us 5 questions about our personal sewing.  Here are my responses.

Great example of instant gratification!

1. What do you look for when choosing a sewing project?

Unique details are the biggest draw for me.  I enjoy making my own clothes because I can create one of  a kind garments that you are not going to find in the stores.  When I find a pattern that has an eye catching detail, I stop to take a closer look at the pattern flats.  I determine if the pattern is one that is suitable for my body type.  I look at the fabric requirements to make sure it is not a fabric hog pattern and determine what fabrics I have in my stash that will work for it.

Quick to sew garments are the next biggest draw.  I love a pattern that is quick to sew.  If I can cut the pattern and sew it all in one day I am a happy camper.  The instant gratification projects are some of the best.  I consider it a huge win when I can whip out six pairs of PJ pants in one day. That makes my stashbusting numbers sky rocket. Plus, I love that I can whip up a new dress in an evening if I need something to wear the next day.

I have a good helper when it comes to procrastinating!

2.  Is there anything you would like to (or wish you could) do differently when selecting projects?

I wish I could actually sew all the projects I plan in a more timely fashion.  I can easily plan projects, but I am terrible at actually getting them all done. For instance, right now I have had two winter coats planned for over a year, a new renaissance gown planned for the last three years, and several tops and dresses planned for months.  I have all the fabrics, notions, and patterns for these projects.  I just need the time and motivation.  Also, I need to stop being a procrastinator.

3. What is your most used/worn sewing project? This either could be of all time or currently.

My most favorite coat, M6442!

I wear most all of my makes pretty heavily. In fact, I would say at least 85% of my wardrobe that I wear on a daily basis is me made.  Out of that 85%,  I think my most worn garment is my plaid coat, M6442.  I wear it nearly every day in the winter. It is warm and unique.  I pick it over my other coats and it is starting to show wear. This coat is the reason I have two other winter coats planned out that I really  need to make.

Musings of a Seamstress

Sad Simplicity 1355 with peekaboo bra!

4. Do you have a project that you thought would be used/worn frequently but just did not end up working out?

Sadly, I have a few of these.  I thought they seemed like they would be great, but in the end I began to resent them.  My version of Simplicity 1355 is a great example of that.  I thought the envelope art and the garment flat looked great.  I picked a scuba print and went to town.  Unfortunately, the fabric was a poor choice because scuba is a heavy weight polyester making it unbearably hot to wear.  On top of that the pattern cuts really low in the back causing my bra to hang out. I have only worn this dress once since making it last year.  I also made a tank top with the scraps of the same fabric.  I have yet to wear it or even blog about it.  That’s how much I hate this fabric.

5. What is your favorite tip or quote that applies to sewing for real life?

“The greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint. The greats were great because they paint a lot.”

This quote is actually a song lyric from Macklemore’s 10,000 Hours.  This is absolutely one of my favorite songs.  Believe it or not I love hip hop.  I know, it seems totally out of character, but I do.  Truth is, I listen to pretty much everything, hip hop just happens to be my go to preference.  Ok, so why is this my favorite, you may be asking?  The song 10,000 Hours is referencing Malcom Gladwell’s book Outliers. Which, if you haven’t read you should! It is great!

Musings of a Seamstress

This was 10 years ago! Keep practicing!

The whole concept of the book is that it takes 10,000 hours to become a master at anything you do.  Gladwell is saying you need to put the time and effort in to anything you want to do before you will get where you want to be.  Macklemore’s song is reflecting on his own personal journey to get where he is today.  This particular lyric is a reminder to me that the sewists and bloggers I look up to were not at the skill level they are today when they first started.  They are there because they put in their 10,000 hours to become a master.  They practiced and practiced and didn’t give up.  They still keep going even though they may not have thought they could ever reach their current level, because they want to push themselves further.  It is a reminder to keep going and keep trying new things.  That is how I want my sewing journey to be.

I hope you enjoyed my real life sewing journey.  Do you have any examples of Real Life, Real Sewing to show off? You can play along by using the #realliferealsewing on social media.

6/20 | Sew 20 Tour Kick-off | The Wholesome Mama | Wild & Wanderful | Randoms by Rydz

6/21 | Daydream Believers | Sugarplum Cuties | Friends Stitched Together | The Inspired Wren | PenSeb&Rox

6/22 | Sewstarly | Very Blissful | House of Estrela | The Berry Bunch | Musings of a Seamstress

6/23 | mahlicadesigns | sewingbyti | Candice Ayala | Call Ajaire | Sunflower Seams

6/24 | Beri Bee Designs | Lulu & Celeste | FABulous Home Sewn | Mae & K | Sew 20 Social Media Round-up

6/25 | Sew 20 Tour Wrap-up

Wear to Where: Outdoor Festival

Today I am joining in on the fun of the Where to Wear series that Katy of Wild and Wonderful and Angelica of Gardening in High Heels are hosting.  In this series they are pitting sewing bloggers up against fashion bloggers with different everyday scenarios that we are to dress ourselves for.   Today’s theme is outdoor festival.   I am so excited to share my makes with all of you!

Musings of a Seamstress - boho kimono

Now, I am not one to attend music festivals like Coachella and Bonaroo. Heck, I don’t even think I want to go to Burning Man.  It is just not my scene and it is too hot!  All that being said I love the wild child boho fashion that goes along with those festivals.  I am more inclined to go to a local festival like the Elkhart Jazz Fest or a movie night here in town.  I knew I wanted to translate that free-spirited fashion into a upscale look that fits the festivals I want to attend and this is the result.

Musings of a Seamstress - boho kimono

I started with my little black dress, McCall’s 6073, that I made last year at this time.  It really is the perfect knit dress for me.  To capture that airy flowy boho style I knew a floral chiffon was the fabric I wanted to use.  I have several to choose from but this is the one I settled upon.  I picked it up last year at Zinck’s Fabrics for $2.99 a yard.  It is a lovely airy crinkle chiffon with gold threads woven in and a romantic watercolor floral print.

Musings of a Seamstress - boho kimono

I ended up using 1.5 yards of this stashed chiffon for my self drafted kimono cardigan.  For this version I added 10″ in length.  I love this longer version.  It is a great length to go with dresses for a more dressy look, but it also pairs perfectly with shorts and a tank top for a more casual look.

Musings of a Seamstress - boho kimono

I accessorized by adding one of my favorite tan belts and my vintage sewing machine necklace to complete the look.  I am really going to enjoy wearing this outfit this summer.

Musings of a Seamstress - boho kimono

For an even more boho look, this is my original short kimono cardigan I made last summer.  I used a feather and floral printed chiffon  for it.  I love this short version paired with shorts or jeans over the black dress.

Musings of a Seamstress - boho kimono

I would love to release both versions of this pattern to all you wonderful sewists!  I know you all can come up with some great versions.  I need some help to do that though.  I need someone who can take my digital pattern and turn it into a downloadable PDF.  Any takers or leads on who could do that?

Simplicity 1317 and Summer Plans

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1317

Hey Sewcialists!  What have you been up to lately?  I haven’t been blogging as regularly as I would like but I have been sewing and planning a lot.  I am slowly getting photos of all my makes, especially the dresses.  I have four dresses that I have made so far this year and none of them have had their time in front of the lens.  This crazy cold Indiana weather is making me not want to go outside.  Yesterday I wore my winter coat out to dinner! My winter coat…in mid May!  Ack!  Today, I am sharing one of my March makes.  Another version of Simplicity 1317.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1317

I really do love this pattern.  This is my 4th version, I believe, and I am still not sick of this pattern.  I really want to make another long sleeve version because of all this cold weather we have been having, but I will hold off for now.  For this version I made view E with an added 4″ of length.  I have a pair of olive jeggings that I love and I wanted some tunic length tops to wear with them.  I knew this pattern was a must to go with them.  While not pictured with the jeggings in these shots, the colors do all work really well together.

I also added the waistband from view A/B/C/D.  I prefer this waistband as a hem finish over just the turn and stitch hem.  Plus, it gives me another opportunity to add the contrasting fabric, like I did here, to balance out the main print fabric.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1317

Speaking of fabrics, all of these fabrics are ponte knits that came from the stash!  The main magenta and taupe print is from a previous Girl Charlee Knitfix that I purchased off of a seller on Facebook last year. I used 1.25 yards for cost of $11.88.  The solid color is called shitake mushroom brown, interesting name, is also from Girl Charlee purchased in 2014 during a Black Friday sale.  I used 1 yard for a cost of $3.50.  Total fabric cost of this top is $15.38 and another 2.25 yards are out of the stash.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1317

All in all I really enjoy wearing this top, especially when made in a ponte.

Other than all the sewing that has been happening around here, I have been planning.  Lots of planning.  I wanted to share just a little bit about what I have in store for the summer.

To start, I am hosting the Stashbusting Sewalong for July with the theme of dresses.  I am planning and prepping a series of versus posts for that month.  There will be woven shirt dresses, knit maxi dresses, and fun novelty dresses stitched up with comparisons between the different patterns and fabrics I use. Melissa of Mahlica Designs did this series earlier this year and I absolutely loved it and knew I had to do it too.  Right now I am getting all the patterns cut out that I plan on using for this.

I am also planning a learning to sew series to help out those wishing to learn sewing.  I am a part of several different sewing groups on Facebook and have seen numerous comments from members about how they are intimidated by sewing patterns.  That patterns are confusing and make the users want to give up because they cannot understand them.  I hate that others feel that way, so I want to hopefully shed a little light for them.  I have most of the pictures for the first series of posts ready to edit.  It is a lot of pictures to go through and prep.

Lastly, I have started planning costumes for our annual trek to the Ohio Renaissance Festival.  Besides Eric and I needing new costumes, I am also going to be making costumes for our nephews and their parents.  It is a lot of pieces to make and I fear I have put it off for far too long to get it all done in time.  My costume, which I have been pushing off for YEARS now, is most likely going to be pushed off again.  Eric’s costume should prove to be a learning experience for me as it will be made with real leather and I have never sewn that before. You can for sure expect a post about that experience.  After last year, my nephew decided he wanted to be Robin Hood for this year.  Of course I am going to make this happen for him.  Today I even pulled several fabrics from my stash to show him for his approval.

Until all that, I am working on a pattern hack tutorial of Simplicity 1062 for this week. Make sure to follow along on Bloglovin’ or through email to keep up to date on all of these upcoming projects and more.  I would love to hear what you all are working on too. Please leave a comment with something you are excited about for this summer.

Simplicity 8016 review

Musings of a Seamstress - S8016

I have been slacking in blogging the last week for a couple of reasons.  First, I need to re-shoot the pictures for my pattern hack tutorial.  I am not happy with the way they turned out and have an idea to improve them.  Second, I thought I had blogged all the tops I had made so far this year.  Turns out I am wrong on the second point.  I have this and one other top photographed and I forgot all about them.  Oh my, what am I going to do with myself?

Musings of a Seamstress - S8016

This is another top that made me stop working on my PR Wardrobe Collection.  I used Simplicity 8016 in view D.  The only major change I made was to eliminate the lace cuffs on the sleeves.  I like the 3/4 of the sleeve with out it best.  Instead of using the cuff to finish the hem, I just turned and stitched the hem at a  1/2″.  I also finished out my lace neckline by adding a taffeta bias strip finish. It is one of my favorite finishing techniques that I would love to write a tutorial on.  It give such a clean and easy finished look.

The pattern runs from XXS-XXL.  According to their size chart I would fit into an XL, and based on the finished measurements that is what I made.  This pattern fits pretty true to size in that respect.  It has just enough ease in the bust to fit comfortably while flaring out perfectly through the waist.  That flare from the bust down is very flattering. It is especially helpful in hiding the tummy lumps and bumps.

Musings of a Seamstress - S8016

I was looking on Fabric Mart’s website for lace to use for my version of McCall’s 7095, when I stumbled across this lace.  I knew I had to have it and that it would be perfect for Simplicity 8016.  I bought 1 yard and ended up only using 1/4 of a yard for the yoke of this top.  I foresee more black lace yoke tops and dresses in my future!  I also used 1.25 yards of black floral rayon jersey from Girl Charlee for the body and sleeves of the top and a black taffeta bias strip for the neckline.  The jersey was one of the fabrics in my Knitfix way back in August of last year.

I am pretty pleased with the total fabric cost for this top.  At a total of $9.44, who wouldn’t be happy?!

My only issue with the top is that the black rayon jersey faded so badly after the second wash that it now appears grey instead of black.  Rayon jersey is so soft and feels like wearing secret pajamas, so it is definitely a disappointment that it did not wash well, but that has absolutely nothing to do with the pattern.

Musings of a Seamstress - S8016

I really like the contrast yoke. It is drafted at a great spot to make it flattering on a large variety of body types. I like the back yoke as well.  I can see a lot of possibilities for color-blocking this top in the future.

This pattern is very easy to put together and as such would be great for beginners.  I know I want to make some more versions of this for fall as well as try the other views.  Next time I made add a little more length to make this more of a tunic that I can wear with my super skinny jeans.  I also want to take the sleeve in just a bit as it is a little too big on me.  I just got a couple of new pairs of shorts and I would like to make the tank top view of the yoke top to go with them.

Musings of a Seamstress - S8016

And then we have this gem!  I do not know what is happening here, but it was too funny not to share.

Have you made Simplicity 8016 yet?  What did you think?